informal learning / science centre & education

Contextual Model of Learning – John Falk and Lynn Dierking



Allen, S . (2002). Looking for learning in visitor talk: A methodological exploration. In G. Leinhardt, K. Crowley, & K. Knutson (Eds.), Learning conversations in museums (pp. 259–303). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Also available at

Allen, S. (2003, Oct.). To partition or not to partition: The impact of walls on visitor behavior at an exhibit cluster. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Minneapolis.

Allen, S. (2004). Designs for Learning: Studying Science Museum Exhibits That Do More Than Entertain. In: Science Education, 88(Suppl. 1), S17-S33. Also available at

Allen, S., & Gutwill, J. (2003). Assessing techniques for facilitating meaning-making by science museum visitors. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.

Allen, S.,&Gutwill, J. (2004). Designing science museum exhibits with multiple interactive features: Five common pitfalls. Curator, 47(2), 199–212.

American Association of Museums. (1992). Excellence and equity: Education and the public dimension of museums. Washington DC: American Association of Museums.

Anderson, D., Lucas, K. B., & Ginns, I. S. (2003). Theoretical perspectives on learning in an informal setting. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, pp 177-199.



Baizerman, M. & Hildreth, R. (2000). Young People and Museums: Visitor, Student, Citizen. Museum Ireland, Vol 10, 60-63.

Banks, M. (2001). Visual Methods in Social Studies. London: Sage.

Bedford, L. (2001). Storytelling: The real work of museums. Curator, 44(1), 27–34.

Bergin, C., Talley, S. & Hamer, L. (2003). Prosocial behaviours of young adolescents: a focus group study. Journal of Adolescence, 26, 13-32.

Bitgood, S., Serrell, B., & Thompson, D. (1994). The impact of informal education on visitors to museums. In V. Crane, H. Nicholson, M. Chen & S. Bitgood (Eds.), Informal science learning (pp. 61-106). Washington, D.C.: Research Communications Ltd.

Borun, M., & Dritsas, J. (1997). Developing family-friendly exhibits. Curator, 40(3), 178–196.

Borun, M., Chambers, M. & Cleghorn, A. (1996). Families Are Learning in Science Museums. Curator, 39/2, 123-138. Champagne, D. W. (1975). The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto: Some impressions and some questions. Educational Technology, 15(8), 36-39.

Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.



Center for Universal Design (2002). What is Universal Design? Definition, design/ud.htm.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Hermanson, K. (1995). Intrinsic motivation in museums: Why does one want to learn? In J. H. Falk & L. D. Dierking (Eds.), Public institutions for personal learning: Establishing a research agenda (pp. 67–77).Washington, DC: American Association of Museums.



Davidson, B. (1991). New dimensions for traditional dioramas: Multisensory additions for access, interest and learning. Boston, MA: Museum of Science.

Davidson, B., Heald, C. L.,&Hein, G. E. (1991). Increased exhibit accessibility through multisensory interaction. Curator, 34(4), 273–290. Dreyfus, H. (1967). Designing for people. New York: Paragraphic Books.

Dewey, J. & Bentley, A. (1949/1991). Knowing and the known. In: J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey: The later works, 1949-1952, Vol. 16. Carbondale, IL: SIU Press.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. New York: MacMillan.

Dierking, L. D., & Falk, J. H. (2001). Learning from Science Centers: A Broader Perspective. ASTC dimensions, January/February 2001.

Dierking, L. D., Falk, J. H., Rennie, L., Anderson, D., & Ellenbogen, K. (2003). Policy statement of the “Informal Science Education” Ad Hoc Committee. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 108-111.

Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Mortimer, E., & Scott, P. (1994). Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom. Educational Researcher, 23(7), 5–11.

Durant, J. (1992). Introduction. In: J. Durant (Ed.), Museums and the Public Understanding of Science, pp. 7-11. London: Science Museum in Association with the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science.



Eder, D. & Fingerson, L. (2002). Interviewing Children and Adolescents. In: J. F. Gubrium & J. A. Holstein, Handbook of Interview Research, 181-202. Thousand Oaks: Sage. (Research Method)

Ellenbogen, K. M., Luke, J. J. & Dierking, L. D. (2004) Family Learning Research in Museums: An Emerging Disciplinary Matrix? Science Education, 88(Suppl. 1), S48-S58.

Evans, G. (1995). Learning and the physical environment. In J. H. Falk&L.D. Dierking (Eds.), Public institutions for personal learning: Establishing a research agenda (pp. 119–126).Washington DC: American Association of Museums.



Falk, J. H. & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The museum experience. Washington DC: Whalesback Books.

Falk, J. H. & Dierking, L. D. (2000). Learning from museums: Visitor experiences and the making of meaning. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press

Falk, J. H. (2001). Free-Choice Science Learning: Framing the Discussion. In: J. H. Falk (Ed.), Free-Choice Science Education. How We Learn Science Outside of School, pp 3-20. New York: Teacher College Press.

Falk, J. H. (2004). The Director’s Cut: Toward an Improved Understanding of Learning from Museums. In: Science Education, 88(Suppl.1), S83-S96.

Falk, J. H., & Adelman, L. M. (2003). Investigating the impact of prior knowledge, experience and interest on aquarium visitor learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(2), 163-176.

Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The museum experience.Washington, DC: Whalesback Books.

Falk, J. H., Koran, J. J., Dierking, L. D., & Dreblow, L. (1985). Predicting visitor behavior. Curator, 28, 249–257.

Falk, J. H., Dierking, L. D., & Foutz, S. (Eds.). (2007). In principle, in practice: Museums as learning institutions. Rowman Altamira.

Falk, J., & Balling, J. (1977). An investigation of the effect of field trips on science learning. Final report grant number SED77-18913. Washington, DC: National Science Foundation.

Falk, J.H., Scott, C., Dierking, L., Rennie, L. & Cohen Jones, M. (2004). Interactives and Visitor Learning. Curator, Vol. 47, 2, 171-198.

Fry, R. (2002). Delightful sound and distracting noise. Journal of Museum Education, 27(1), 14–17. Gammon, B. (1999). Everything we currently know about making visitor-friendly mechanical interactive exhibits. Informal Learning Review, 39, 1–13.

Fyfe, G., & Ross, M. (1996). Decoding the visitor’s gaze: rethinking museum visiting. In: S. Macdonald, & G. Fyfe (Eds.), Theorizing Museums. Representing Identity and Diversity in a Changing World. London: Blackwell Publishing.



Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind: How children learn, how schools should teach. New York: Basic Books.

Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. E. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, acting, and knowing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.

Gilbert, J. K. (2001). Towards a unified model of education and entertainment in science centres. In: S. Stocklmayer, M. Gore, & C. Bryant (Eds.), Science communication in theory and practice, pp. 123-142. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press.

Greeno, J. G., Collin, A. M. & Resnick, L. B. (1996). Cognition and learning. In: D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology, pp. 15-46. New York, USA: Macmillan Library Reference.

Gutwill, J. (2002). Providing explanations to visitors affects their inquiry behavior: A study of the Downhill Race exhibit. (Available from the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123.)

Gutwill-Wise, J., Soler, C., Allen, S., Wong, D., & Rezny, S. (2000). Revealing bodies summative evaluation. Available in summary form at

Gutwill-Wise, J.,&Allen, S. (2002). Finding significance: Testing methods for encouraging meaningmaking in a science museum. Current Trends in Audience Analysis, 15, 5–11.



Hayward, D. G.,&Brydon-Miller,M. L. (1984). Spatial and conceptual aspects of orientation: Visitor experiences at an outdoor history museum. Journal of Environmental Systems, 13(4), 317–332.

Heath, C. & vom Lehn, D. (2003). Misconstructing Interactivity. In: M. Hintons (Ed.), Interactive Learning in Museums of Art and Design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hedge, A. (1995). Human-factor considerations in the design of museums to optimize their impact on learning. In J. H. Falk&L.D. Dierking (Eds.), Public institutions for personal learning: Establishing a research agenda (pp. 105–117). Washington DC: American Association of Museums.

Hein, G. E. (1998). Learning in the Museum. London: Routledge

Hein, G. E. (2003). Final summary evaluation report for Traits of Life, a collection of life science exhibits. (Available from the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123.) Also available at

Hein, H. S. (1990). The Exploratorium: The Museum as Laboratory. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Hooper-Greenhill, E., & Moussouri, T. (2002). Researching learning in Museums and Galleries 1990-1999: A Bibliographic Review.[Online]. Retrieved from [November 17, 2014].

Hutt, C. (1981). Toward a taxonomy and conceptual model of play. In: H. I. Day (Ed.), Advances in intrinsic motivation and aesthetics, pp. 251-298. New York: Plenum.



Insulander, E. (2004). Museums and Learning – a research overview [online]. Retrieved from [November 17, 2014].



Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as a source of learning and development. Prentice Hall.



Lindqvist, S. (2000). Introduction: Einstein’s pipe. In: S. Lindqvist (Ed.), Museums of Modern Science, pp. vii-xii. Canton, MA: History of Science Publications and the Nobel Foundation.

Loewy, R. (1951). Never leave well enough alone. New York: Simon & Schuster.



MacDonald, S. (2002a). Exhibitions and the Public Understanding of Science Paradox. Paper presented at the workshop “Exhibitions as a tool for transmitting knowledge”, 26-27 april, Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Kulturtechnik, Humboldt-Universtät zu Berlin

Martin, L. M. W. (1996). A Vygotskian approach to the design of a science center. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.

Maxwell, L. E.,&Evans, G.W. (2002). Museums as learning settings: The importance of the physical environment. Journal of Museum Education, 27(1), 3–7.

McCarthy, B. (1987). The 4MAT System: Teaching to learning styles with right/left mode techniques.

McLean, K. (Ed.). (2003). Visitor voices [Special issue]. Journal of Museum Education, 28(3).



Norman, D. A. (1988). The design of everyday things. New York: Doubleday.



Oliver, P. (2003). The Student’s Guide to Research Ethics. Maidenhead, USA: Open University Press. (Research Method)

Oppenheimer, F. (1986). Working prototypes: Exhibit design at the Exploratorium. Exploratorium Publications, ISSN-0-943451-081-06.



Papanek,V. (1971). Design for the realworld: Human ecology and social change. NewYork: Pantheon.

Pearce,M.(2003). “They said that the glass is full of friendship”:Visitor stories in a memory exhibition. Journal of Museum Education, 28(3), 26–30.

Perry, D., & Tisdal, C. (2004). Going APE! at the Exploratorium: Interim Summative Evaluation Report. (Available from the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123.)

Richards, W. H., & Menninger, M. (2000). A discovery room for adults. In J. S. Hirsch, & L. H. Silverman (Eds.),



Transforming practice: Selections from the Journal of Museum Education 1992–1999 (pp. 301–311). Washington, DC: Museum Education Roundtable. (Also published in 1993, Journal of Museum Education, 19(1), 6–11.)



Roberts, L. (1997). From knowledge to narrative: Educators and the changing museum.Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Rounds, J. (2002). Storytelling in science exhibits. Exhibitionist, 21(2), 40–43. Rowe, S. (2002). The role of objects in active, distributed meaning-making. In S. Paris (Ed.), Perspectives on object-centered learning in museums (pp. 19–35). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.



Schneider, B., & Cheslock, N. (2003). Measuring results: Gaining insight on behavior change strategies and evaluation methods from environmental education, museum, health and social marketing programs. (Available from the Coevolution Institute, 423 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA94111.)

Semper, R. (1990, Nov.). Science museums as environments for learning. Physics Today, 50–56.

Serrell, B. (1996). Exhibit labels: An interpretive approach. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.

Shank, R. C. (1990). Tell me a story. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Silverman, L. H. (1995).Visitor meaning-making in museums for a newage. Curator, 38(3), 161–170.



Tokar, S. M. (2003). Universal design: An optimal approach to the development of hands-on science exhibits in museums. Unpublished master’s thesis, Excelsior College, Albany, NY. Also available at



Walter, C. (in press). Whodunit. In K. McLean & C. McEver (Eds.), Toward best practices: Conversations about exhibition development (working title). San Francisco: Exploratorium Publications.

Whitney, K. (2003). Seeing collection pre-post study final results. (Available from the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123). Also available at evaluation.html.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s